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Stackyard News Apr 2012

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Wool Takes Centre Stage at Scotsheep 2012

“The Wool Centre – Rediscover the Wonders of Wool” will be a major feature of NSA Scotsheep to be held at Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire, on Wednesday, June 6.

© British Wool Marketing Board

shearing a sheep

The feature will be co-ordinated by the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) and the Campaign for Wool (CfW) and the main static display will come straight from the BWMB/CfW stand at the Ideal Homes Exhibition in London.

“A similar promotion at the Royal Highland Show last year created tremendous interest and we are delighted that it is being repeated at NSA Scotsheep,” said Neale McQuistin, vice-chairman of NSA Scotland and chairman of the NSA Scotsheep organising committee.

“The demonstration will tell the story of wool from “fleece to fashion” and will be of interest to both sheep farmers attending the event and the general public.”

NSA Scotsheep, with Bank of Scotland as main sponsor, is being hosted on the 960-acre Home Farm at Dumfries House which is run as a joint venture by the Dumfries House Trust and the UK’s fourth largest retailer, Morrisons.

It is highly appropriate that wool should be a major feature of NSA Scotsheep as Dumfries House was saved for the nation in 2007 by the Prince of Wales (known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland) and His Royal Highness has been the inspiration for the CfW which was launched in the UK two years ago and has now taken off world-wide.

It is encouraging that wool prices have improved considerably from the low ebb which motivated Prince Charles to bring all sectors of the industry together, including the NSA and the BWMB, to instigate plans for the campaign.

Other features will include a demonstration by Jennifer Alexander, Jenny Mackay, Ann Ross and Ann Williams portraying different aspects of the ancient craft of felt making – one of the oldest textiles known to man - using wool from native sheep breeds and highlighting contemporary artistic applications.

They will present both functional and decorative examples of their own work to show sheep breeders what could be done with wool from their own flocks, including rugs, hats and scarves.

The Scottish Storytelling Yurt – a woolly home constructed as a millennium project for storytelling and teaching tactile skills with local wool – will also be featured. The Keeper of the Yurt, Liz Brown, is currently involved in a prestigious project felting the protective covers for the Prince of Wales’ Florilegium, a 175 limited edition which encompasses 120 prints by 72 leading botanical artists portraying plants growing at the Prince’s home at Highgrove.

There will also be demonstrations of scouring, carding and hand spinning into yarn by Marilyn Caddell and Mary Currie using a spindle and spinning wheels. Colourful yarns and a selection of knitted, woven and embroidered articles, made from natural fleece colours and plant dyes, will be on display.

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